January 26, 2016

TTT #56: Ten Books I Recently Added to My TBR Pile

This week was actually a freebie week, but since I couldn't come up with anything on my own and I missed out on last week's topic I figured I would just do that one. Therefore, I will be sharing with you some books I recently added to my TBR pile. 

1. Dreambender by Ronald Kidd - This is the middle grade book I recently added.
2. Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here by Anna Breslaw - Something about the cover just grabbed my attention.
3. Into White by Randi Pink - I have never been more intrigued by a cover and synopsis before. This is either going to be amazing or just not work. Fingers crossed.
4. Nameless by Jennifer Jenkins - Nicole from The Quiet Concert sings its praises and that is enough to get me to read it.
5. Two Summers by Aimee Friedman - Parallel words. Enough said.

6. Love, Lies & Spies by Cindy Anstey - I love everything about this.
7. A Criminal Magic by Lee Kelly - I'm all about the magic.
8. Tumbling by Caela Carter - Gymnastics tryouts for the Olympics? This book couldn't be published at a better time.
9. Strictly Between Us by Jane Fallon - A little something different to my reading line-up.
10. Batgirl by Cameron Stewart - My list wouldn't be complete without a graphic novel.

January 25, 2016

I Got a Puppy!

Why didn't I post a single blog post last week? Why haven't I been reading lately? That's right folks, my husband and I got a puppy! I don't know what we were thinking... Just kidding! We love our little guy, even if he is a handful. Meet the newest member of our family, Bash. He is a rescue dog! Bash is part Mastiff and part Lab. He is going to be a big boy. Now it is time for some pictures!

Nap Time
Just Posing
One of my favorite activities involving this guy is fetch. He LOVES chasing down his little squeaky chickadee toy. The best part is that he runs full speed and then does this little jump on the toy and then hurries back and slams into us when returning it. He just has no brakes! He slams into the furniture and walls quite a bit, but not in a harmful way, but in an overexcited puppy way. (Also, we have all wood floors and tile.)

We are currently house training him and man oh man is that a pain to do in the winter when it is freezing outside, but it has to be done. So far only a few accidents in the house! Nothing that we couldn't handle. Puppies will be puppies.

He loves to chew on EVERYTHING so you always have to be watching him. (Bash loves eating any paper products including but not limited to Kleenex, toilet paper, paper towels, and pieces of paper. All of these items are completely out of his reach now, but there was a rather crazy paper towel roll incident when we first brought him home.)

We have stairs going into our house and we live in a split-level so we have a decent amount (but not too many) of stairs in our house... It's too bad that Bash doesn't do stairs. He has yet to brave them and since he is already a little overwhelmed with his new family and surroundings we haven't pushed him yet. That means that right now we are carrying him up and down the stairs all the time (it is a good workout at least), but that won't last much longer because he is going to grow pretty quickly. Therefore, we are going to try to bribe him with treats to go up the stairs now that he has lived with us for a full week. Time flies! I will have to let you know how that goes...

How about a few more pictures of our pup? (We don't have many pictures of him when he is up and about because it is too hard to watch him and take pictures. He is a crazy little puppy.)

Upside-down Chew Time
Naps are the Best
Even though he can give me a headache, this little man sure is cute! We love him lots and have welcomed him into our family with open arms. I will have to post new pictures of him every month so you all can watch him grow. I'm hoping that as we all get into a routine I will go right back to blogging and reading all the time. It may just take another week or so. Until then, happy reading!

January 15, 2016

2015 Statistics Survey

This Statistics Survey is from Brittany and Andi! Thanks so much you two for this awesome end of the year survey with cool graphics! **I will say that I took out some questions and added a few of my own to fit me personally. To find the original survey and such visit The Book Addict's Guide or Andi's ABCs.
  • Number of…
    • Audiobooks: 5
    • Re-reads: 5
    • DNFs (did not finish): 0
    • Young Adult: 66
    • New Adult: 10
    • Adult: 24
    • Graphic Novels: 18
    • All Books Read This Year: 118
  • Number of books rated…
    • Five Stars: 32
    • Four Stars: 57
    • Three Stars: 27
    • One/Two Stars: 2
  • Number of authors met in 2015: 8
  • Number of book events attended in 2015: 3
  • Number of books you read in one day: 3
  • Number of books that made you cry: 5
  • Number of 2016 books you have on pre-order: None - I don't buy a lot of books. I do have 3 on hold at my library already!

  • Book read furthest away from home (vacation reads?): Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly and The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West, both read in Florida.
  • Book that took you the longest to read: 10 days - Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
  • Book that you personally connected with the most: Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella, I have always struggled with anxiety issues.
  • Book that made you love the villain: The "dragon" from Uprooted by Naomi Novik is seen as a villain and I loved him.
  • Book you read waaaay before it’s publication date: ACOTAR by Sarah J. Maas and Velvet by Temple West. I loved them both!
  • Book you read on your birthday: The Song of the Quarkbeast by Jasper Fforde
  • Book you read in 2015 but already want to re-read: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
  • Book you which you could go back and read for the first time again: ACOTAR by Sarah J. Maas
  • Happiest & saddest: Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot (happiest) & Torn Away by Jennifer Brown (saddest)
  • Longest & shortest… 
    • By page number: The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett (120 pgs) & Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon (976 pgs)
    • By title: A Court of Thorns and Roses & H2O
    • From buying to reading: Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin (I still haven't read.) & The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan (I bought it and read it right away.)
  • Best & worst…
  • First & last…
    • Reads of 2015: Every Breath by Ellie Marney (first) & The Zoo Graphic Novel by James Patterson (last)
    • Books on your bookcase (1st book on the top left and last book on the bottom right): Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone & The Chicago Manual of Style
  • Most disappointing & biggest pleasant surprise: H20 by Virginia Bergin (disappointing) & Mosquitoland by David Arnold (pleasant surprise)
  • Book you read that is red: Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby
  • Starts with X, Y, or Z: Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan
  • Book you hugged when you finished it: Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot
  • Book you wanted to throw across a room: The Selection by Kiera Cass
  • Food you craved while/after reading a certain book: Popcorn
  • Book that became an instant go-to recommendation: The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas
  • Furthest out of your comfort zone: The graphic novels I read, but now they are 100% in my comfort zone!
  • Read on a recommendation (that you may not have picked up yourself): The Diviners by Libba Bray
  • Forced yourself to finish: The Selection by Kiera Cass
  • Series or author’s works you binged (whether all at once or throughout the year): I read a lot of Colleen Hoover books this year.
January 14, 2016

Mini Reviews: Middle Grade Books

Since I recently read six middle grade books as part of my Bout of Books read-a-thon challenge I figured I would write some mini reviews about them! I would write full reviews, but I didn't take notes while reading... I had a lot of fun reading middle grade books, but after reading only middle grade for a full week I think I shall take a break for a while.

5 Stars

Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin
Rain Reign is emotionally wonderful. It is both heartbreaking and beautiful. I am so thankful that I got to meet Rose. She is a character I won't soon forget. Even if you don't read middle grade books you should give this one a try.

4.5 Stars

Chasing Secrets by Gennifer Choldenko
This historical fiction was interesting and fun. I love a well written story about a plague and how it affects not just one family, but the whole town. Another plus, the main character was brave and wonderful.

4 Stars

May B. by Caroline Starr Rose
I can't believe how strong and smart May B. is! I don't think I would be able to survive a horrible snow storm all by myself at the age of 13 in the middle of nowhere.

3.5 stars

The Worst Class Trip Ever by Dave Barry
Full of laughs and scheming, this was a fun book. I only wish it would have been a little more entertaining from start to finish. I loved the start and I loved the finish, but the middle part was only just okay for me. I do think kids will love this!

One Came Hon by Amy Timberlake
This one was a little slower than I would have liked considering it was a rather short book, but once I started the second half I was completely immersed in the story.

3 Stars

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
I wanted to love this book, but I only ended up liking it. I am not sure if it was the slower pace or what but I had a hard time reading this one. I liked the characters, the story, and the setting, so who knows what my problem was. I can see young kids really enjoying this one.

January 13, 2016

Library Loot #40

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.

**I have not participated in a Library Loot post since the beginning of November! I tried really hard to clean out all my shelves for the new year so I kind of stopped getting new books for a while, but now it is the new year and I am ready for all the new 2016 releases!

My Library Loot

1. I am super excited to start the year off with these two graphic novels that feature bad-ass female leads!

2. I have been dying to read these new 2016 releases!

3.  I am aiming for one self-improvement type book a month. I figured I would start with these. I am open to suggestions.

January 12, 2016

TTT #55: 2015 Releases I'm Sad I Haven't Read Yet

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Since my TBR pile is always growing more often than shrinking I had no problem making this week's list. I ended up choosing the top ten 2015 releases that I am super sad I haven't gotten around to reading yet. In no particular order...

January 11, 2016

Review: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
522 pages
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Source: I borrowed this from a co-worker.
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story—but far, far more monsters.

My Review

This review is going to be a little different. I am kicking of the new year with a new type of review. I am going to do a question answer type format. These are questions I had while reading that I wrote out and then answered. I figured some of you may be curious about the same things so I decided I would write my review in that type of format. 

Will you like this book if you are not a Harry Potter fan?
Sure. I don't see why not. I think you may like it a little more if you are an HP fan though.

Would you enjoy this book if you have yet to read Fangirl?
I think so. It is treated as a whole separate book so you don't really need to read Fangirl to enjoy Carry On.

Does Carry On have a little bit of a mystery to its story or is it just a romance?
Although I believe it is primarily a romance novel, there is some mystery and fantasy type elements to the story as well. 

Is this book supposed to be funny?
When I first started reading I thought the whole book was a joke, and then I realized that I think it was supposed to be written that way. Why else would you call the main villain the Insidious Humdrum? I laughed quite a few times while reading.

When will the romance happen? (This thought occurred to me about 1/4 of the way into the novel.)
With all the hype surrounding this book and all the talk of it being a romance, I was very sadly disappointed that it took hundreds of pages for things to finally heat up and get interesting. I really just wanted Simon and Baz to smash their faces together.

What about all the supporting characters?
They fell a little flat for me. I think perhaps that maybe one reason for this is that since Carry On reads like a last book in a series I had a hard time connecting with the characters. Who really knows though. It may just be me.

When does this book become interesting? (This thought hit me at about 50ish pages in.)
I will warn you that I felt like the story dragged a bit at first. I felt liked nothing really happened for a long time there at the beginning.

Is Carry On worth reading?
I enjoyed it. Rainbow Rowell writes really well. Even though I wasn't completely sold at the start, I really did love the second half of the story.

January 10, 2016

Stacking The Shelves (2)

Hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

I don't normally receive or ask for too many ARCs, but I did get a few over the past couple of weeks so I figured I would share them with you! I am very thankful to the publishers and I can't wait to read these beauties.

The Physical ARCs

A huge thank you to Swoon Reads and HarperTeen!

The E-ARCs

Another big thanks to HMH Books for Young Readers and Jolly Fish Press!!

January 8, 2016

Bout of Books Challenge: Bookish Scavenger Hunt

Bookish Scavenger Hunt

The Challenge: It's time to hunt... You can complete as many of the five hunts as you like. You may use your own pictures or images you find online.

Bookish Scavenger Hunt

1. Book Shelves
A took a picture of my most favorite shelves in my bookcase!

2. A book you’re planning to read/currently reading for Bout of Books
This is the book I am just about to start!

3. A Book and a Beverage
Sometimes I just crave a nice cold Diet Pepsi. Also, I just finished the book and it was AMAZING.

4. Blue Books
I just grabbed some random books with blue covers from my shelves.

5. Cozy Reading Spot
This is one of my favorite places to read.

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